Left Hand Brewing Fade To Black, Vol. 3 Pepper Porter

BREWERY WEBSITE: lefthandbrewing.com
ALC./VOL: 7.2%
IBUs: 1,984
COLOR: dark mahogany with a crispy tan head
AROMA: an olfaction of chocolate, stout malts, smokiness, coffee, and pepper
THOUGHTS: Exploratory seasonal craft recipes that change each year hold a time sensitive feel that I need to consume them now before my liquor store runs out of their stock. While pondering over which selection last week to fill my 64-ounces of growler with I realized that I’ve got a crush on dark beers during these raw winter months. So I embraced it and took a stab at Left Hand Brewing’s Fade To Black, Vol. 3 Pepper Porter.

The Colorado craft brewery’s Pepper Porter is anything but a typical dark beer. Sure it’s got that dark thickness typical of a porter, but the similarities stop right there. For this year’s edition of Fade To Black they decided to add something quite different to the brew: chile peppers.

Ancho, Chipotle, and Smoked Serrano Chiles mix together a smoky offering that gives a good representation of the spice meter. It’s a subtle pepper taste at first, fusing with the bits of chocolate, coffee, and black licorice to give an almost gingerbread offering. But the pepper spice eventually finds it’s way onto your tongue and into your throat to linger after the softness of everything else wanes. It’s not a hot spicy, but spicy enough to let you know it’s there. And it truly makes you want to take another gulp to figure out just what happened and how all those ingredients ended up blending together so god damn orchestrally. It’s apparent that without the chile peppers this beer would probably not stand out so much, but it also stands out despite the pepper taste because of how well they bring it all together.

I can honestly say it was way better than I expected, and I’m gonna go and grab a 6-pack so I can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime brew all over again—heat and all.